Posted March 27, 2012 - 08:10
I think the admiral has covered it pretty well in his posts, although at Game 1 in 2008, it didn't get quiet until the grand slam. That's when I realized the fanbase had been "ruined" by the success that came up short in 2003, the collapse of 2004, and to a lesser degree, 2007.
2006 was not a team built to "win now." 2004, 2007, 2008 and the unfortunate 2009 starring special guest Milton Bradley are the only years that qualify for that status. As much as the Alfonso Soriano deal is ripped now, it worked. They were a 90-loss team that went to the postseason the next two years. The bad back end of the deal just started sooner than expected.
I also don't think Lou Piniella is given enough blame for the playoff failures in 2007 and 2008. He made lineup changes or pitching moves that made little sense (Fukudome sat most of September but returned to the starting lineup for the playoffs, Ted Lilly didn't pitch in the 2008 NLDS so Harden could, Zambrano was pulled in Game 1 of the 2007 NLDS to keep him fresh for a Game 4 that was "if necessary" to begin with but ultimately never happened, No. 3-at-best Dempster getting the nod in Game 1 in 2008). In 2008, they were the best team (by record) in the NL and got swept.
So to answer your question, IMO, the Cubs haven't won mostly because of cheap or bad ownership/management, and the few times they have had a championship-caliber team, a combo of mismanagement on the field and a bit of bad luck prevented it. And some fan down the left field line had zero to do with it.
And then there's this that occured to me watching last year's postseason: The Cardinals are a franchise that often wins even when it is expected to lose, while the Cubs lose even when they are expected to win. That's not a curse, but it might be a mentality that hangs over the team a little too much, and certainly the fanbase (as in the case of that grand slam in 2008). Getting rid of a guy named Crane Kenney who hires a priest to sprinkle holy water in the dugout and insults the season ticket holders by saying we're all scalpers and aren't paying enough for tickets for a losing team would be a good start, too.